Recorded crime in Wales rises by 12%, police stats show

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Recorded crime has risen by 12% in Wales, latest police figures show.

A total of 219,111 crimes were recorded in the 12 months to September 2017, compared to 194,910 over the same period in 2016.

All four Welsh police forces saw increases in crime according to the Office for National Statistics, with Gwent Police seeing the largest.

One force said it was down to a change in how crime is recorded and "greater public confidence in reporting crime".

Gwent Police recorded a 14% rise in crime over that 12 month period, followed by North Wales Police (13.7%), Dyfed-Powys Police (13%) and South Wales Police (10.9%).

Across Wales and England, about 5.3 million crimes were recorded, representing a 14% rise on the previous year.

The figures showed significant rises in the following types of crime:

  • 68,968 robbery offences, up 29%
  • 138,045 sex offences, up 23%
  • 37,443 knife crime offences, up 21%
  • 1,291,405 violent crime offences, up 20%

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Alun Michael attributed the rise to the 2014 change in recording methods, but said the force did recognise "there has been a genuine rise in some crime categories".

Deputy Chief Constable Richard Lewis said the force had seen a rise in both 999 calls and non-emergency 101 calls which "accounts for a large proportion of the crime we are dealing with".

He said: "Crime is only a part of what we deal with and there are many other challenges we face, including mental health concerns, vulnerable missing people and other hidden harms which we as the police service respond to and manage on a day-to-day basis and which do not appear within the crime figures."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said the crime increase "demonstrates how vital it is that the UK government provides more appropriate levels of funding for policing services".

"The current settlement from the UK government is insufficient to respond to current demand, let alone further increases," he said.

North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable, Richard Debicki said the force's "excellent relationship" with communities means people "willingly pass on information".

"The risk of household crime is the fourth lowest nationally, way below the national average which demonstrates that north Wales' communities are far less likely to be a victim of household crime than the vast majority of areas nationally.

"We remain, in this regard, one of the safest areas in the UK."

Dyfed-Powys Police has been asked to comment.